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Peters Up Nearly 4,500 Votes Over DeMaio; AP Declares Peters Winner

Photo caption: Democratic Rep. Scott Peters mingles with supporters at the Westin Hotel on e...

Photo credit: Milan Kovacevic

Democratic Rep. Scott Peters mingles with supporters at the Westin Hotel on election night, Nov. 4, 2014.

Democratic Congressman Scott Peters' lead over Republican challenger Carl DeMaio grew Friday to 4,491 votes with about 10,000 ballots still to be counted in the 52nd District.

Peters did not claim victory and DeMaio did not concede, but the Associated Press said Peters had won.

Here's what AP said in a post at 7:14 p.m.:

Peters led with 51.3 percent of the vote compared to 48.8 percent for Republican Carl DeMaio for a lead of 4,491 votes. Although San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 ballots remained to be counted, The Associated Press has determined that is insufficient for DeMaio to overtake Peters.

Photo by Angela Carone

Carl DeMaio waves to the audience on election night at the U.S. Grant in downtown San Diego, Nov. 4, 2014.

On Thursday, Peters led DeMaio by 861 votes, while DeMaio led Peters by 752 votes at the end of election night on Tuesday.

MaryAnne Pintar, Peters' campaign manager, said the campaign was "thrilled" after the Registrar of Voters Office released its vote update Friday.

"This lead reflects the support Rep. Peters received from across the political spectrum and the tremendous Get Out the Vote effort by our field staff and hundreds of volunteers over the weekend and on Election Day," Pintar said in a statement. "We are eager for every vote to be counted, appreciate the diligence of the County Registrar and remain grateful to all who’ve supported this campaign and volunteered to help during this extended count period.”

The DeMaio campaign did not return requests for comment. On Twitter, DeMaio said, "VOTE UPDATE: 10,000 votes will still be left to count - some Absentees and "Touch Screen" votes cast Oct-Nov 4. Saturday/Monday 2/2 #CA52."

More than $10 million was pumped into the 52nd Congressional District race that pitted two former San Diego city councilmen against each other. Peters won his seat two years ago in a tight race when he upset GOP incumbent Brian Bilbrary.

DeMaio still hopes he can prevail to become one of at least 10 Republicans to steal House of Representatives seats from incumbent Democrats.

Vu estimated that about 31,000 ballots from the 52nd District were counted on Friday. An additional 5,000 ballots from the 52nd District will be counted Saturday, Vu said, with the final 5,000 from the district counted Monday.

The updates from those counts will be posted online at 5 p.m. Saturday and Monday.

Vu said the count would go slower on Saturday and Monday because the remaining ballots are the "exceptions," meaning ballots that need additional verification. Those include provisional ballots and damaged mail-in ballots.

The race has captured national attention from the beginning of the campaign season, but it intensified after two former DeMaio staffers came forward with claims that DeMaio sexually harassed them.

Soon after election results were posted Friday night, U-T San Diego reported that Pintar had more contact with the first accuser, Todd Bosnich, than previously disclosed. The information was based on eight search warrant affidavits that U-T San Diego said it asked the court to unseal.

KPBS reported this week that Bosnich had been in communication with Peters' campaign manager, Pintar, but the U-T report says the affidavits give more details about the contact. This is what the U-T said:

Pintar told police she received four emails from Bosnich on May 29, some of which contained “campaign strategy and campaign specific information.” She turned them over to police two days later.

Pintar also told police she met with Bosnich on June 5 at a Starbucks coffee house. She said that, at the meeting, he gave her a copy of a radio interview he did describing the allegations — an interview that has not aired yet — and a copy of the DeMaio “media plan” for the campaign.

Those items were given to police on June 11, the records show.

KPBS reported last month that a copy of an interview Bosnich did with KFMB radio host Mike Slater was sent to CNN and other national news outlets. Slater said he didn't remember if he gave Bosnich a copy of the interview, and Bosnich denied sending it to other news outlets.

Last month during a debate on NBC San Diego’s “Politically Speaking,” DeMaio accused Peters of receiving a copy of a “campaign playbook” that was stolen during a break-in in May at DeMaio campaign headquarters.

Peters responded that in early June, “information was forwarded to our campaign, which we immediately turned over to the police.” Peters said he never saw the playbook, that his campaign gave it to the police within 24 hours and that his campaign manager “looked at it enough to know what it was.”

The affidavits obtained by the U-T indicate it took several days for the Peters campaign to turn over the DeMaio documents to police.

On Friday evening, Pintar sent a statement about the incidents to KPBS:

Rep. Peters never said we turned over any ‘playbook’ within 24 hours. We have consistently said we never received a playbook. He said we received information that was forwarded to the police immediately or within 24 hours. He was referring to the initial emails Bosnich sent to us prior to the primary in which he stated that Carl DeMaio had sexually assaulted and threatened him. We contacted the police chief right away with this information because we were concerned about Todd's welfare. She had a detective contact me, and I met with detectives at the police station and gave them the emails Todd had forwarded to me.

I met with Mr. Bosnich shortly after the primary, on June 5, at his request. At that meeting he gave me what looked like draft campaign mail pieces that he had printed from his computer and a tape of his interview with Mike Slater. I left on vacation right after that and thus did not speak with a detective until a few days later when a car in front of my home had been burglarized. At that time, I told him what Todd had given us and we made them available for pick up. The police didn’t pick them up until a few days after that.

The District Attorney's Office last month said there was not enough evidence to bring charges in the break-in at DeMaio's headquarters nor in the sexual misconduct allegations alleged by Bosnich.

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